Welcome to Ham Radio's Daily Satirical Newsletter since 1990

DX CLUSTER    1.8     3.5     7.0     10    14    18    21    24    28    50      6PM 145.130 NET

WEDNESDAY EDITION: Nice storm here on the coast, lots of damage to the docks and beach's, I will have to get out and shoot some pictures of life on the island.....First impressions of the new Icom 705.....For 18 months, residents of a village in Wales have been mystified as to why their broadband internet crashed every morning. ....

The Space Weather Woman

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov WX6SWW

LOTW user guide

If you are a new user or planning to use "Logbook of The World" (LoTW), Gary, ZL2IFB, has put together an easy step-by-step guide or should we say manual (about 33 pages with pictures) to help you use LoTW.

The PDF file is available for download at:
https://www.g4ifb.com/LoTW_New_User_Guide.pdf

Venerable AO-7 Satellite Approaching a Return to Full Solar Illumination

AMSAT-OSCAR 7 (AO-7), the oldest amateur radio satellite still in operation, is nearing a return to full illumination by the sun, which should take place around September 25 and continue until around December 26. AMSAT’s vice president of operations Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, says that during this period, AO-7 likely will switch between modes A (2 meters up/10 meters down) and B (70 centimeters up/2 meters down) every 24 hours. He reminded users to use only the minimum necessary power and to avoid “ditting” to find their signals in the passband, which can bounce the entire passband up and down and sometimes even cause the transponder to reset to mode A.

“Try to find yourself with very low power, or on SSB, or best, with full Doppler control,” Glasbrenner said. “If you have to use high power to find yourself, your receive antenna and system probably needs improvement.”

Last May, the nearly 46-year-old AO-7 made possible a contact between Argentina and South Africa — a distance of more than 4,300 miles. Both stations were aiming just 2° or 3° above the horizon. AO-7 only works when it’s receiving direct sunlight and shuts down when in eclipse.

Launched in 1974, AO-7 surprised the amateur satellite community by suddenly coming back to life in 2002 after being dormant for nearly 30 years and periodically re-emerging. AMSAT considers AO-7 “semi-operational.” Theory is that AO-7 initially went dark after several years of operation when a battery shorted, and it returned to operation when the short circuit opened. With no working batteries, AO-7 now only functions when it’s receiving direct sunlight, and it shuts down when in eclipse.

Built by a multinational team under AMSAT’s direction, AO-7 carries a non-inverting Mode A transponder (145.850 – 950 MHz up/29.400 – 500 MHz down) and an inverting Mode B (432.180 – 120 MHz up/145.920 – 980 MHz down) linear transponder. It has beacons on 29.502 and 145.975 MHz, used in conjunction with Mode A and Mode B/C (low-power mode B), respectively. A 435.100 MHz beacon has an intermittent problem, switching between 400 mW and 10 mW.

Amateur Radio Software Award

Claus, AE0S, reminds everyone that special event station K1A will be active for the 'Amateur Radio Software Award' between September 25th and October 4th, 2020. The special event station promotes innovative, free and open amateur radio software.

The "2020 Amateur Radio Software Award" recipient Anthony Good and his K3NG Arduino CW Keyer software project will be honored during the event.
Nominations for the 2021 awards will also be encouraged.

"The Amateur Radio Software Award" is an annual international award for the recognition of software projects that enhance amateur radio. The award aims to promote amateur radio software development which adhere to the same spirit as amateur radio itself: innovative, free and open.

More info about the special event, operating schedule and the award can be found at:
https://amateurradio
softwareaward.github.io/special-event

To receive the special event QSL card for your contact(s) please send SASE by November 1st to the address below. This allows them to know how many QSL cards they need to print. The address is: Amateur Radio Software Awards, Special Event Station, P.O. Box 126, Ames, IA 50010, USA

 

TUESDAY EDITION: Looks like the wind will pickup to 30-40 mph gusts and seas of 5-10 feet by afternoon, the aftermath of the coastal hurricane.....Ham radio to the rescue.....  My favorite dessert, Tapioca, is damn near extinct in stores and if you find it on Amazon it is over $25 per box. The shortage is due to drought conditions at the source, make 2020 go away....

TODAY'S DUMBASS AD: CABLE - FS/FT: 12 meter & higher dipole wire  
Stranded copper, stripped from old extension cord (that I think I cut out all the compromised parts of). Measured out to about 2 meters 95 cm, as the b/w pair loosely twists together, so a bit longer than that each, once they're separated.
Open to cash or trade offers. In San Diego, CA.
Listing #1506994 - Submitted on 09/22/20 by Callsign N6ATF - IP: ip98-176-190-234.sd.sd.cox.net
Click Here to Email -- Click Here to View Picture -- Send this Ad to a Friend

 

Penny and Songbird....where can you find reruns of this series?

Solar Cycle 25

The Sun is stirring from its latest slumber. As sunspots and flares, signs of a new solar cycle, bubble from the Sun’s surface, scientists wonder what this next cycle will look like.

The short answer is, probably a lot like the last — that is, the past 11 years of the Sun’s life, since that’s the average length of any given cycle.

But the longer story involves a panel of experts that meets once a decade, a fleet of Sun-studying satellites, and dozens of complicated models — all revolving around efforts to understand the mystifying behavior of the star we live with.

NASA scientists study and model the Sun to better understand what it does and why. The Sun has its ups and downs and cycles between them regularly. Roughly every 11 years, at the height of this cycle, the Sun’s magnetic poles flip — on Earth, that’d be like if the North and South Poles swapped places every decade — and the Sun transitions from sluggish to active and stormy. At its quietest, the Sun is at solar minimum; during solar maximum, the Sun blazes with bright flares and solar eruptions.

Solar cycle predictions give a rough idea of what we can expect in terms of space weather, the conditions in space that change much like weather on Earth. Outbursts from the Sun can lead to a range of effects, from ethereal aurora to satellite orbital decay, and disruptions to radio communications or the power grid.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center is the U.S. government’s official source for space weather forecasts, watches, warnings, and alerts: With accurate predictions, we can prepare.

The work that researchers at NASA and around the world do to advance our solar activity models helps improve those forecasts. In turn, solar cycle forecasts give us a sense of how stormy the Sun will be over the next 11 years and how much radiation spacecraft and astronauts may face during heavy bouts of solar activity.

Modeling the Sun is a tricky business because scientists don’t fully understand the internal churning that causes this magnetic flip-flop. Computer models use equations to represent the Sun, but the star manages to elude them. If the Sun were a machine, it would have countless knobs and dials whose functions and sensitivities remain unknown.

“Over the last 40 years, we’ve come to observe the Sun in much greater detail,” said Lika Guhathakurta, program scientist of the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters. “It’s produced a wealth of information, but quantifying and modeling the solar cycle remains challenging. We’re working against how variable the Sun is, and the complexity of what happens inside the Sun.”

Without fully understanding how the magnetic field, which drives solar activity, moves inside the Sun, scientists have to make some assumptions. The plight of solar modelers could be likened to that of weather forecasters — if they tried to forecast the weather by looking at just the upper atmosphere, and not the critical layers below.

There are many approaches to modeling the Sun in order to develop solar cycle predictions. Some models use ground-based observations spanning hundreds of years; others may use satellite data, which has only been available for the past four decades or so.

In recent years, some researchers have incorporated machine-learning tactics. Models may focus on different precursors scientists have identified are linked to solar activity: Earth’s magnetic field, which responds to the Sun’s, and the strength of the magnetic field at the Sun’s poles are most common.

“Part of the scientific process is whittling these questions down, and working in parallel on the same problem in different ways,” said Maria Weber, an astrophysicist at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. Each model is one tool among many. “We might find there are different tools that can get us the same outcome, and then you could pick the type that best suits you.”

It’s the job of the Solar Cycle Prediction Panel — co-sponsored by NASA and NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — to evaluate all of these models and release an official prediction representing the scientific community’s best efforts.

Meeting every decade since 1989, the panel brings together experts from around the world, including Weber, who served on the panel for Solar Cycle 25. The discussions are known to occasionally get heated, a sign of the complex task at hand and the fervor each scientist has for their favorite models.

In the end, the scientists wrote their predictions on a little piece of paper, Weber said, and the debating began. “Ultimately, we all had to agree, whittling down and adjusting our estimates, so that people felt it best reflected everything we knew up to that point,” she said.

In March 2019, only the fourth time such a panel had convened, the 12 experts considered some 60 different models. In recent years, one seems to be especially successful: the polar magnetic field model. This uses measurements of the magnetic field at the Sun’s north and south poles. The idea is that the magnetic field at the Sun’s poles acts like a seed for the next cycle. If it’s strong during solar minimum, the next solar cycle will be strong; if it’s diminished, the next cycle should be too.

Together, they predicted dates for Cycle 25’s start and peak, and the peak sunspot number, an indicator of how strong the cycle will be. The more sunspots, the higher the sunspot number, and the more solar eruptions a cycle is expected to unleash.

Currently, the Sun’s poles are about as strong as they were at the same point in the last solar cycle, which scientists interpret as signs that Solar Cycle 25 will play out in similar fashion to Cycle 24. Solar Cycle 24 was a feeble cycle, peaking at 114 sunspots (the average is 179). Solar Cycle 25 is now underway and expected to peak with 115 sunspots in July 2025.

Lisa Upton, co-chair of the Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel and solar physicist at Space Systems Research Corporation in Westminster, Colorado, compared their task to hurricane forecasting. Meteorologists often consult several models, each spitting out its own possible path a hurricane could take.

“One of the lessons there is you don’t put too much faith in one model, but see what all of the models together can tell you and teach you,” Upton said. As a whole, a group of predictions is more likely to land on the right path.

Some have taken novel approaches to making these predictions. Scientists recently published a new way to survey the solar cycle: Instead of the traditional linear view of time, they used a mathematical technique to map the last 18 solar cycles onto a circle. What emerged was a more orderly pattern of behavior than expected from the Sun.

Their so-called solar clock is like a typical clock, where each roughly 11-year cycle can be described over 12 hours. Instead of the time of day, certain “times” correspond to high solar activity. Right now, the scientists say, it’s about 3 o’clock, near the first uptick in activity that comes at the beginning of each solar cycle. The scientists reported their findings in Geophysical Research Letters.

“The most active Sun — in terms of solar eruptions — happens between 5:30 and about 10:00, when there’s a sharp drop-off in activity as the Sun moves toward minimum,” said Robert Leamon, a solar scientist on the study, based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Once we know where we are on the solar clock and can calculate the speed of the cycle we’re in, we can make much more precise predictions about when the next cycle of solar activity will start and stop.”

According to their clock, the Sun’s next quiet period will begin around the first half of 2027.

If Solar Cycle 25 meets the panel’s predictions, it should be weaker than average. Cycle 25 is also expected to end a longer trend over the past four decades, in which the magnetic field at the Sun’s poles were gradually weakening.

As a result, the solar cycles have been steadily weaker too. If Solar Cycle 25 sees an end to this waning, it would quell speculations that the Sun might enter a grand solar minimum, a decades-to-centuries long stretch of little solar activity.

The last such minimum — known as the Maunder minimum — occurred in the middle of what’s known as the Little Ice Age from the 13th to 19th centuries, causing erroneous beliefs that another grand minimum could lead to global cooling.

“There is no indication that we are currently approaching a Maunder-type minimum in solar activity,” Upton said. But even if the Sun dropped into a grand minimum, there’s no reason to think Earth would undergo another Ice Age; not only do scientists theorize that the Little Ice Age occurred for other reasons, but in our contemporary world, greenhouse gases far surpass the Sun’s effects when it comes to changes in Earth’s climate.

Eventually, scientists would like to issue weekly forecasts for the Sun, just like meteorologists do for Earth. But solar cycle and space weather forecasting have far to go. There are still questions about the Sun’s interior to answer and important data to collect.

“One of the things that’s exciting about being a solar physicist is that we’re at the forefront of this — there’s still all these questions that have yet to be answered,” Upton said. “There are still a lot of rocks to unturn.”

Solar Cycle 25 will continue to unfold, and scientists will keep tinkering with their models and watching to see how close their predictions come. It will be another five to six years before they can say who was right — or wrong — all along.

MARS Communications Exercise will Involve Amateur Radio Community

Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) volunteers will take part in the Department of Defense (DOD) Communications Exercise 20-4, starting on October 3 and concluding on October 26.

The MARS focus is interoperability with ARRL and the amateur radio community. “Throughout the month of October, MARS members will interoperate with various amateur radio organizations that will be conducting their annual simulated emergency tests with state, county, and local emergency management personnel,” said MARS Chief Paul English, WD8DBY.

“MARS members will send a DOD-approved message to the amateur radio organizations recognizing this cooperative interoperability effort.” MARS members will also train with the ARRL National Traffic System (NTS) and Radio Relay International (RRI) to send ICS 213 general messages to numerous amateur radio leaders across the US. “This exercise will culminate with MARS Auxiliarists sending a number of summary messages in support of a larger DOD communications exercise taking place October 20 – 26,” English added.

Throughout October, MARS stations will operate on 60 meters, and WWV/WWVH will broadcast messages to the amateur radio community. English assures no disruption to communications throughout the month-long series of training events. 

The Day of the YL's Memorial Contest 
(7th-8th November 2020)


Carine Dubois F5ISY

This contest is in memory of  Carine DUBOIS. F5ISY
She developed the YL contest and did not ever see it to the end. 
Carine F5ISY passed over November 3rd and we will remember her at the weekend of Saturday 7th November and Sunday 8th November. 

HF/VHF CONTEST

THE DAY OF YLs 2020 RULES

Aim of this day : To promote YLs activity around the world

Time : 2020-07th  00:00 UTC to 2020-  08th - 23:59h00 UTC

To help competitors to find each other we propose to use frequencies +/- 10 kHz from the following activity centre frequencies:
80m; 40m; 20m; 15m,10m;
Modes : CW, SSB, FT8.. VHF. 2m:  RTTY

Exchanges : RS(T) + YL/OM (e.g. 59(9)+ YL/OM)

The same station may be worked once on each band and mode

Award : An award will be issued to all participants (SWLs also) who has contacted or heard for the 33 points with YLs (pdf file):
For YL/ YL 3 points
For YL / OM 1 point
For DX YL's outside of your own continent 5 points
For DX OM's outside of your own continent 2 points  

or results will be published separately for OM and YLs according to the number of YLs logged

Logs :submit scores to 3830scores.com     

Mail object : call + OM/YL + Number of YL contacted + Total number of QSO + signal report..

Log software
You can use N1MM+ its best if we all use the same log....

Our group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/746304389193363/

DEADLINE ....
All logs must be submitted by November 16 th

MONDAY EDITION: HRO in Salem NH is open to foot traffic today but ONLY 5 PEOPLE AT A TIME IN THE STORE FOR SAFETY. Just a heads up for this Friday when Joe- JEK was planning a lunch meeting...The newly formed U.S. Space Force is deploying troops to a vast new frontier: the Arabian Peninsula.  Space Force now has a squadron of 20 airmen stationed at Qatar's Al-Udeid Air Base in its first foreign deployment. The force, pushed by President Donald Trump, represents the sixth branch of the U.S. military and the first new military service since the creation of the Air Force in 1947.

My first calculator...

SI9AM to close

The King Chulalongkorn Memorial Amateur Radio visitor's station SI9AM in Ragunda, Sweden, was established in 2000 but following of years of losses and the pandemic it is to permanently close down

A post on the SI9AM site reads:

We are sorry to inform you that SI9AM, the Visitor's Amateur Radio Station in Utanede, Sweden will be closed down on December 1, 2020.

The Visitor's Station is owned by eight radio clubs in the third call area in Sweden. SI9AM has reported losses for several years and has not had any guest operators since February 2020 due to the Covid19 Pandemic. The board has now decided to close down the visitor station.

We started the Visitor’s station on July 19, 2000 and have worked about 160,000 QSOs.

Thanks to all Guest Operators, Visitors, all radio amateurs who have worked us and everyone who has supported us during the years.

We will continue to answer QSL-cards, send SI9AM Awards.

Jorgen Norrmen, SM3FJF
President of SI9AM

Source https://www.si9am.com/

Radio Amateurs of Canada 2020 Conference on YouTube

On Sunday, Sept 20, the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) held their 2020 Conference and AGM online. The videos are now available to watch on YouTube

Among the videos are:

 Conference and AGM

 Amateur Radio and Youth
 Getting Started with Amateur Radio Satellites
 6m FT8 DXing
 CY9C St. Paul Island DXPedition
 VO2AC: Contest DXpedition to Labrador (CQ Zone 2)
 Amateur Radio Challenges in Canada’s North
 Amateur Radio Hotspots: A Quick Overview

The first video contains the Keynote Presentation - “A Fireside Chat”: “Amateur Radio during the Global Pandemic and other topics” - an informal discussion featuring the following distinguished guests:

 Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA: President, Radio Amateurs of Canada (Moderator)
 Tim Ellam, VE6SH: President, International Amateur Radio Union (IARU)
 Rick Roderick, K5UR: President, American Radio Relay League (ARRL)
 Steve Thomas, M1ACB: General Manager, Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB)

In these unprecedented times, this is an excellent – and possibly historic opportunity – to engage in a discussion on the challenges we face today and the future of Amateur Radio.

Watch RAC 2020 Conference and AGM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NZ0fTUL0ng

SolderSmoke Podcast 225 available

Bill Meara M0HBR / N2CQR has released a new edition of the amateur radio SolderSmoke podcast

This edition includes:
 The uSDX project
 Sliding into the Vintage Test Gear Cult:  HP8640B
 Fixing up and figuring out Radio Shack DX-390 receivers
 ARRL/TAPR Convention:  SDR project from Walla Walla University students. Intuitive explanation for why desired and image freqs in a mixer come out with very useful phase difference
 Chuck Adams' Amazing Lab Notebook. Includes a simple circuit to measure resistance and Q in crystals.
 Mailbag

Listen to the podcast
http://soldersmoke.com/soldersmoke225.mp3

WEEKEND EDITION: HRO in Salem, NH opens up next week to floor traffic. You can go in and spin the knobs again and Joe-JEK is planning on holding court on Friday with a little lunch at the Chinese spot next door at noon....No better time to be a radio nerd....It sure is a swell idea to open the border wide open and let everyone to the USA...

Fires/Hurricanes: FCC grants rule waiver for modern ham radio modes

Some modern amateur radio modes are prohibited in USA due to an archaic symbol rate restriction introduced in 1980. Everytime there's a natural disaster ARRL has to ask for a rule waiver to use them

The ARRL reports:

The FCC has granted ARRL’s request for a temporary waiver to permit amateur data transmissions at a higher symbol rate than currently permitted by section 97.307(f) of the FCC Amateur Service rules. The FCC acted to facilitate hurricane and wildfire relief communications within the US and its territories.

The waiver is limited to 60 days and applies only to stations in the continental US and Puerto Rico using PACTOR 3 and PACTOR 4 emissions and who are directly involved with HF hurricane and wildfire relief communications.
 
Read the ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-grants-arrl-rules-waiver-request-for-fire-emergencies-hurricanes

The Symbol Rate Restriction was introduced by the FCC on March 17, 1980, with the intention of limiting the bandwidth of digital signals on HF and VHF. It would have the unintended consequence of crippling the development of amateur digital modes.

Why did the FCC introduce a Symbol Rate Restriction rather than simply limiting the bandwidth ? The reason is because of events a few years earlier.

In 1976 the FCC decided to modernize the Amateur Radio Regulations and produced a proposal to do just that - Docket 20777 Regulation By Bandwidth.

The FCC proposed to delete entirely all references to specific emission types, such as A1, F3, etc in the Amateur Radio rules and replace the provisions with limitations on the allowed bandwidth which an amateur signal may occupy in certain portions of the amateur bands. What the FCC proposed was sensible and for 1976 a modern way to regulate a service such as amateur radio.

The ARRL didn't like it and over the next couple of years waged a sustained campaign against the FCC proposal. Eventually the FCC capitulated and dropped the idea. The legacy of that episode was that anything that suggested a form of regulation by bandwidth was an anathema to the ARRL.

The old-style amateur regs didn't permit the use of data codes such as ASCII - back in the 1970's it was Baudot Code or nothing. The FCC's modernization proposal would have allowed ASCII but that was now dead. The ARRL supported amateur use of ASCII so a way had to be found to patch the existing regulations to allow ASCII but at the same time limit the bandwidth without having an explicit bandwidth limit. The approach acceptable to ARRL was a Symbol Rate Restriction.

Foundations of Amateur Radio

Simplicity among the complexity ...

My radio shack consists of two radios, identical, well, in as much as that they're the same model, a Yaesu FT-857d. Their memories are different, their microphones are different, but both of them are connected via a coaxial switch to the same VHF and UHF antenna. One of them is also connected to a HF antenna.

Let's call these two radios alpha and bravo.

Alpha is used to host F-troop and play on the local repeater. Bravo is used to do HF stuff. It's also connected to a computer via a serial cable, called a CAT cable, Computer Assisted Tuning, but really, a way to control the radio remotely.

The audio output on the rear of the radio is also connected to the computer.

These two connections are combined to provide me with access to digital modes like PSK31, WSPR and SSTV, though I haven't actually yet made that work. The computer itself is running Linux and depending on what I'm doing on the radio some or other software, often it's fldigi, a cross-platform tool that knows about many different digital modes.

The computer is also connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi, and is used to see what various reporting websites have to say about my station, things like propagation, the DX cluster, an electronic way of seeing what other stations can hear, then there's solar radiation information and other neat tools.

This shack is pretty typical in my circle of friends. I'm lucky enough to have a dedicated table with my shack on it, for others they're lucky to have a shelf in a cupboard, or at the other end of the spectrum, a whole room or building dedicated to the task.

The level of complexity associated with this set-up is not extreme, let's call it in the middle of the range of things you can add to the system to add complexity.

In case you're wondering, you might consider automatic antenna switching, band switches, band filters, amplifiers, more radios, audio switching, automatic voice keyers. If you look at the world of Software Defined Radio, the hardware might include many of those things and then add a computer that's actually doing all the signal processing, making life even more complex.

At the other end of the complexity scale there's a crystal radio.

As I've been growing into this field of amateur radio it's becoming increasingly clear that we as a community, by enlarge, are heading towards maximum complexity.

There's nothing wrong with that as such, but as a QRP, or low-power operator, I often set-up my radio in a temporary setting like a car or a camp site. Complexity in the field is not to be sneezed at and I've lost count of the number of times where complexity has caused me to go off-air.

It occurred to me that it would be helpful to investigate a little bit more just what's possible at the other end of the scale, at the simple end of complexity if you like.

So, I'm intending, before the year is out, supplies permitting, to build a crystal radio from scratch. I realise that I have absolutely no idea what I'm getting myself into, no doubt there will be more complexity that I'm anticipating, but I'm getting myself ready to build something to be able to look at it and say to myself, look, this is how simple you can get with radio.

I'm currently too chicken to commit to making the simplest - legal - transmitter, but if you have suggestions, I'll look into it.

Just so you know, simplicity is an option.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

Hurricane Watch Net is Tracking New Weather Systems

The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) is keeping a close eye on three systems — Hurricane Teddy, Tropical Depression 22 (TD 22), and newly formed Tropical Storm Wilfred. For the remainder of 2020, named storms will come from the Greek alphabet, starting with Alpha. In fact, a sub-tropical storm named Alpha has formed near the coast of Portugal, but it is expected to be short-lived, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

As of 1500 UTC, Hurricane Teddy was a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 130 MPH with higher gusts. It was located about 885 miles southeast of Bermuda, which already took a hit earlier this week from Hurricane Paulette. Watches may be required for Bermuda later today or tonight. Teddy may affect eastern Canada on Tuesday afternoon.

The current forecast brings the center of Teddy about 150 miles east of Bermuda late night Saturday or very early Sunday morning.

“It seems that Bermuda has been a magnet for tropical cyclones,” HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, said. He cited Tropical Storm Fay in 2014, Hurricane Gonzalo — a Category 4 storm in 2015 — Hurricane Joaquin, also a Category 4 storm in 2015, Hurricane Nicole, another Category 4 storm in 2016, and this week’s Hurricane Paulette, a Category 1 storm.

At 1500 UTC, the NHC began issuing advisories on newly formed Tropical Storm Wilfred. This storm was located about 630 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands, with maximum sustained winds of 40 MPH. Wilfred should not pose a problem for anyone other than shipping lanes. This system is currently forecast to dissipate within 96 hours.

Tropical Depression 22 is going to be the system to watch. At 1500 UTC, it was located about 275 miles east-northeast of Tampico, Mexico, and about 255 miles southeast of the mouth of the Rio Grande. TD 22 currently has maximum sustained winds of 35 MPH and is moving to the north-northeast at 7 MPH, forecast to become a tropical storm on Saturday. Late Saturday or early Sunday, this system is expected to turn slowly to the west. TD 22 is forecast to become a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday, but weaken to a tropical storm on Tuesday.

“However, as we’ve come to know, things can and usually do change. So, residents along the Texas coast, and perhaps Louisiana, should keep a close eye on the progress of this system,” Graves advised.

The HWN at mid-week had completed 71 continuous hours of activation for Paulette and Sally. The net's primary frequency is 14.325 MHz.

Northern Florida ARES Requests Clear Frequencies for HF Nets

Northern Florida Section Emergency Coordinator Karl Martin, K4HBN, is requesting that stations not directly involved in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) response to Hurricane Sally please avoid 3.950 MHz (primary) and 7.242 MHz (backup). ARES has activated in four Northern Florida counties. Shelters are open, and power and telecommunications outages are widespread, Martin reports.

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2238 for Friday September 18 2020

AMATEURS RESPOND TO WILDFIRES, HURRICANES

PAUL/ANCHOR: As wildfires raged in the American West and hurricanes struck farther east, hams were mobilized on the Pacific Coast and in the nation's Gulf Coast region to report and respond as needed. By Wednesday, September 16th, the Voice Over Internet Protocol Weather Net had secured as did WX4NHC, the amateur station at the National Hurricane Center.

According to Lloyd Colston KC5FM, scores of weather reports were submitted for Hurricane Sally in the Gulf Coast and Hurricane Paulette which hit Bermuda. By Thursday, September 17th, ARES had activated in northern Florida, anticipating Sally.

Meanwhile, the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared the first two channels on the 5 MHz band available for interoperability between hams and government agencies for both the weather systems and the West Coast wildfires. Amateur radio is secondary on the 5 MHz band.

The Military Auxiliary Radio System was also prepared to assist with response on the band as needed.

(SWLING POST, LLOYD COLSTON)

**
MILLIMETER WAVE RADAR SHOWS PROMISE

PAUL/ANCHOR: Scientists in a U.S. research lab have found a way sound waves can give a mighty boost to radar. Skeeter Nash N5ASH has that report.

SKEETER: As hams we all know the power of sound and the information it can carry. Now, scientists at the United States Naval Research Laboratory are harnessing the power of vibration sensing to tell them more about moving targets.

According to an article on the lab's website, using a millimeter wave radar lets operators sense what a target may be doing by detecting subtle changes in vibration. Because it is a remote-sensing technique it does not require proximity. According to the article, even a low-power system can detect a one-square-meter target that is about 10 kilometers, or 6 miles, away.

Christopher Rodenbeck, an electrical engineer in the lab's Radar Division said the process adds sound to image collection already being done by radar. It relies on a new algorithm that translates small vibrations into sounds that can be measured and characterized. That algorithm still has its patent pending.

Michael Walder, superintendent of the lab's Radar Division, said: [quote] "Millimeter wave radar can see things that can't be seen at other frequencies and can't be seen optically." [endquote]

Millimeter wave radar is extremely accurate and has a high resolution. Its electromagnetic waves are between 1 and 10 millimeters -- at radio frequencies between 30 and 300 GHz.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Skeeter Nash N5ASH.

(U.S. NAVAL RESEARCH LABORATORY)

**
HAMS REUNITE MISSING MAN WITH FAMILY IN INDIA

PAUL/ANCHOR: Hams in West Bengal, India have helped reunite a missing man with his family. Jim Meachen ZL2BHF has the details.

JIM: A family reunion that was more than 10 years in the making finally happened earlier this month in India thanks to amateur radio. According to local news reports, Govinda Munde, 60, had been in treatment at a psychiatric hospital in Pune (Poo-NAY) and had not seen his family for many years but turned up mysteriously in February on the island where the Gangasagar (Gong-a-SOGG-ARR) Festival had just concluded in West Bengal. He was found sleeping beneath a tree, according to Ambarish Nag Biswas VU2JFA, secretary of the West Bengal Radio Club. The club had been asked by authorities to have local hams assist in locating his family. The man was admitted to a general hospital for treatment but walked out two days later. He was tracked down and readmitted sometime afterward. Hams meanwhile located his family in Maharashtra State. After some delays, the man's brother arrived only to discover that a caretaker had put him on a train. Ambarish said that Samarendra Sekhar Das VU3XSS, Dibos Mandal VU3ZII and Kalipada Patra, a shortwave listener, were able to find him on September 6th and with the help of police, the family was reunited. By the 11th of September they were back in Maharashtra.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.

(AMBARISH NAG BISWAS VU2JFA)

**
IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON HAM RADIO DISCUSSED AT MINI-CONFERENCE

PAUL/ANCHOR: In Canada, organizers have added a mini-conference to the RAC's annual general meeting and one of the bigggest topics is COVID-19.

JOHN: The COVID-19 pandemic itself will be a kind of headliner when Radio Amateurs of Canada hosts a mini-conference just before its annual general meeting on the 20th of September. In addition to talks about satellite, engaging more youth, remote operations and a recap of the St. Paul Island DXpedition, the day's programme will feature what's being billed as "a fireside chat" on amateur radio during the global pandemic. Panelists will be Tim Ellam, VE6SH: president of the International Amateur Radio Union; Rick Roderick, K5UR, president of the American Radio Relay League; and Steve Thomas M1ACB, general manager of the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB)

Moderator will be Glenn MacDonell VE3XRA, president of the Radio Amateurs of Canada.

This is to be the first time the annual general meeting will be held virtually and the RAC has opted to add the interactive mini-conference to round out the day. The annual general meeting will begin at 4 p.m., at the conclusion of the mini-conference.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm John Williams VK4JJW.

(RAC)

**
TWO HAMS IN INDIA SCORE A 'PERSONAL BEST'

PAUL/ANCHOR: The recent AMSAT-UK OSCAR QSO Party has given 2 hams in India reason to celebrate, as Jason Daniels VK2LAW tells us.

JASON: Marathon runners aren't the only enthusiasts who are proud of achieving what's called their "personal best." Ham radio operators have their big moments too. Two hams in India -- Rajesh VU2EXP and Lucky VU2LBW -- reported recently that during the AMSAT-UK OSCAR QSO Party they worked six different FM satellites in one day, September 9th.

Rajesh is the regional coordinator for the West India Zone of AMSAT-India. He writes: [quote] "It's a personal record for us for such satellite activities in the region." [endquote] The satellites included AO-27, a 27-year-old satellite and SO-50, launched 18 years ago.

To add to the thrill, said Rajesh, it should be noted that he achieved the contacts using a portable setup from his terrace in Gujarat (Goo-Juh-Rott), using a pair of HTs and a homebrew antenna.

He added: "What a memorable day!"

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jason Daniels VK2LAW.

(SOUTHGATE)

**

SILENT KEY: BILL SEXTON N1IN, PROMINENT MEMBER OF MARS

PAUL/ANCHOR: A New York ham who achieved distinction - both as a journalist and in ARMY MARS - has become a Silent Key. Caryn Eve Murray KD2GUT has that report.

CARYN: An amateur radio operator with a prominent role in the Army Military Auxiliary Radio System has become a Silent Key. Bill Sexton N1IN devoted himself to serving MARS following a long, prominent career in journalism that included reporting from foreign bureaus in Tokyo and Beijing for the Long Island daily newspaper, Newsday.

A Korean War veteran, he retired from the paper in 1991 and served as the public affairs officer for MARS for 13 years. During the 9/11 terror attacks in the U.S. - and later during Hurricane Katrina - Bill assisted with emergency radio communications, earning him the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. Bill was also the author of "Army MARS at 90: Helping Protect the Homeland," a 100-page study of the organization's role in national security. Bill held the Army MARS callsigns AAR1FP and AAA9PC.

Bill had suffered a stroke one week before his death on September 6th. He was 91.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Caryn Eve Murray KD2GUT.

(NEWSDAY)

**

SILENT KEY: AVUTU NAGI REDDY VU2ANI, LEADER IN INDIAN AMATEUR RADIO

PAUL/ANCHOR: A leader in amateur radio in southeastern India has become a Silent Key. Graham Kemp VK4BB tells us more.

GRAHAM: Avutu Nagi Reddy VU2ANI was a homebrew enthusiast, a helping hand at antenna installations and an all-around guide who shared the science of ham radio with others. Avutu became a Silent Key on Thursday the 10th of September at home in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. He was heard often on the HF bands, and was a familiar voice particularly on 40 meters. He was also a leader, serving as secretary of the Coastal Amateur Radio Society. His love of radios extended to his impressive collection of radios and amplifiers.

Avutu was 64.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Graham Kemp VK4BB.

**

IN THE UK, A 'VIRTUAL' SUCCESS

PAUL/ANCHOR: One of the newest clubs in the UK has never gathered its members for a meeting - and that's apparently just fine with everyone, as we hear from Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

JEREMY: It's no secret that virtual amateur radio clubs work. In the UK, Essex Ham has been successfully doing this since 2011. Now they've got some company, largely as a product of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Online Amateur Radio Community Club came into being this past spring following discussions between Francis Hennigan M0UKF and four or five other hams.

Francis tells the club's story on YouTube in an interview with Callum McCormick M0MCX, noting that the need for a virtual club became apparent to him in March when he volunteered to assist with remote invigilation of licence exams.

The Online Amateur Radio Club evolved from there. Although it is predominantly a UK-focused club, membership is not necessarily limited geographically. Francis told Callum that the club, which has about 130 members, is hoping especially to reach into the community of younger hams. Weekly nets are already being held on the digital modes, including DMR, D-STAR, Echolink and Fusion.

He said there are no fees because there are no costs. Even though the club is only a few months old, organisers are already setting up a ‘buddy system’ to support new members. The club begins its intermediate level training course on the 28th September.

For more details about the Online Amateur Radio Community Club, visit their Twitter feed, which is, “@M0OUK.”

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

(CALLUM MCCORMICK M0MCX ON YOUTUBE)

**

CHECK-IN OPPORTUNITIES EXPAND FOR BLIND HAMS DIGITAL NET

PAUL/ANCHOR: Check-in opportunities have expanded for the Blind Hams Digital Net which has added a network bridge - and a whole lot more. Jack Parker W8ISH gives us the details.

JACK: The Blind Hams DMR Net had a quiet beginning but now its voices are everywhere. On that first day - April 7, 2018 -- only three amateurs checked in. The net was simply an idea that grew out of an online discussion hams were having on a mail server but it was soon to grow to be even more.

It is now known as the Blind Hams Digital Net and has an international reach with an average of 50 check-ins, a group that sometimes climbs to 76. The establishment of the Blind Hams Network Bridge gave more room to grow, and there are now eight nets on the bridge. The hams also have a presence on Brandmeister TalkGroup 31679. Thanks to Patrick KE4DYI, the connections support DMR, D-STAR, Fusion, AllStar, EchoLink, Peanut and Wires-X.

More recently, the group added a YouTube channel that includes a roundtable discussion called "CQ Blind Hams," and a podcast of the same name has also been created.

The blind hams group has a strong advocacy voice off the air as well. Roger Clark VK3KYY and a team of programmers pressed for the use of open GD77 firmware and programming software to make a Radioddity HT more easily programmable by blind users. In Germany, Ian DJ0HF, created MP3 tutorials and PDF files to guide users.

No radio? No problem! Even without a radio, hams can still be part of the action. Hams who are not on the air can join via the Peanut smartphone App or just listen to the chatter using their Alexa device or they can stream audio from the bridge using their computers.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jack Parker W8ISH.

(JOEL CASE W0CAS)

**

NETS OF NOTE: THE HOTSPOT, PI, SBC AND ZOOM NET

PAUL/ANCHOR: In our occasional series Nets of Note, shining a spotlight on nets of particular interest, Newsline looks this week at one net that functions as a digital helping hand to demystify the various modes. It's called the Hotspot, Pi, SBC and Zoom Net. Hams check in on Mondays at 10 p.m. Eastern Time on the QuadNet Array.

The net was created as the Raspberry Pi Net to assist with setup and operation, using Single Board Computers like the popular Raspberry Pi. Daryl WX4QZ and Steven KC9SIO are serving temporarily as net control stations, standing in for Ted VE7LEE. It's all about camaraderie, communications and of course questions and answers.

(DARYL STOUT WX4QZ)

**
QSO PARTY WELCOMES NEWCOMERS, PROMISES 'LOW STRESS'

PAUL/ANCHOR: If you're stressing out about doing well in your first QSO Party, try this low-stress, beginner-friendly one. Here's Neil Rapp WB9VPG.

NEIL: When is the best time for a QSO Party? According to the Nashua Area Radio Society it's when the time of sporadic-E is fading away but the sun itself is starting to crank up the propagation possibilities. So the party is scheduled for September 26th and 27th and the radio society promises something for everyone: That means all modes are permitted except for those modes using repeaters, and all bands are permitted too, except for the WARC bands.

Activity will be in two categories: VHF-only for 6 meters on up, and All Bands.

Organizers are calling this QSO party an easy and low-stress introduction to contesting which also makes it ideal for newcomers to radiosport. As the society website says, the goal is to get as many people as possible on the air.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Neil Rapp WB9VPG.

(NASHUA AREA RADIO SOCIETY, JIM LAJOIE K1BRM)

**
KICKER: TOWERING MEMORIES STILL STAND TALL

PAUL/ANCHOR: We end this week's report with the story of a father, a son and the legacy of a 100-foot tower. Here's Andy Morrison K9AWM.

ANDY: In the eyes of his son and so many others Lawrence Gasch W3SFY was a towering figure. Before becoming a Silent Key 22 years ago, he carved out a reputation as a pioneer in the field. He perfected his craft of tower-building at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C., where he worked for the Search Radar Division. He was an antenna specialist. He fabricated antennas for the Vanguard satellite mission in 1959 and later, the Gemini 9 space capsule carried one of his antennas. An active ham in emergencies, he assisted with communications during the Great Alaska Earthquake in 1964.

His passing not only left behind a grieving family and community but a 100-foot tower he'd built on a West Virginia mountaintop in the mid-1980s which still stands tall over the trees.

His son, John, was preparing to take it down recently, acknowledging in a Facebook post that the need for it was long gone.

Apparently, however, the good works of Lawrence Gasch are continuing after all. He wrote on Facebook: "Along came a savior - influenced by the ghost of my dad, perhaps." [endquote] Morgan Wireless, an internet provider, wants the tower so they can bring high speed internet to students living in rural areas, most especially for classes to be held during COVID-19.

"So we're giving the tower to them," John writes, calling it a win-win. He adds: "Dad would be proud that his legacy will live on for another 20-30 years." It takes more than the passage of time to take down a tower - or a reputation - like that of Lawrence Gasch.

5-MHz Interoperability Channels designated for wildfires and Hurricane Sally response

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that two 60-meter channels have been made available, as necessary, for interoperability between US Government stations and US amateur radio stations involved in emergency communications related to the wildland firefighting response in California, Oregon, and Washington, and to Hurricane Sally. These interoperability channels will remain active until the need for these channels no longer exists:

* Channel 1 - primary voice traffic 5332 kHz channel center, 5330.5 kHz USB voice.

* Channel 2 - digital traffic 5348 kHz channel center, 5346.5 kHz USB with 1.5-kHz offset to center of digital waveform.

Frequencies may be modified or added to by FEMA Region 10 for their area or operations due to existing 5-MHz/60-meter interoperability plans for their region.

Amateur radio is secondary on the 5-MHz band and should yield to operational traffic related to wildland firefighting and hurricane response. Although the intended use for these channels is interoperability between federal government stations and licensed US amateur radio stations, federal government stations are primary users and amateurs are secondary users.

The Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS - https://netcom.army.mil/mars/ ) is following FEMA's lead on the interoperability channel designations for the wildfire and hurricane response.
Army MARS Program Manager Paul English, WD8DBY, says he has alerted all MARS members of the FEMA channel designations and MARS members are prepared to support response efforts as needed.

THURSDAY EDITION: Welcome to the hobby..... RF pollution from electric vehicle wireless chargers ...Just thinking, there is going to be a boat load of plexiglass available after this Covid goes west. no matter where I go I look at a sheet of plexi in my face.....Dumbass of the day: Woman does so well well selling counterfeit goods online, she decides to open a store....Can't  decide which Apple watch to purchase?....Ford is investing $700 million in electric trucks with new plant in Michigan....

Germans in 1918 peddling for power for communications

Northern Florida ARES Requests Clear Frequencies for HF Nets

Northern Florida Section Emergency Coordinator Karl Martin, K4HBN, is requesting that stations not directly involved in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) response to Hurricane Sally please avoid 3.950 MHz (primary) and 7.242 MHz (backup). ARES has activated in four Northern Florida counties. Shelters are open, and power and telecommunications outages are widespread, Martin reports.

The Space Weather Woman

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov WX6SWW

 

Ham radio club talk collection on YouTube

The collection of Denby Dale Amateur Radio Society online talks are available for everyone to watch on YouTube

The talks include:
 Amateur radio on satellites and the International Space station
Introduction to amateur television
HF propagation
Practical Wireless editor Don Field G3XTT
Low Power transmitters
Bob Heil K9EID - his radio journey
A mini expedition with radio to the Isles of Scilly
Having fun and learning morse code
Operating pedestrian mobile in Spain
Podcasters Eric and Martin
Radio and climbing mountains and hills
Using vector network analysers
High altitude balloons
 Building magnetic loop antennas
Working DX without spending loads

Watch the collection of Denby Dale ARS online talks at
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq9nFTkJJAjO
dPZVytoPOcg/videos

WEDNESDAY EDITION: Good day ham hobbyists...Thanks to Norm for the headsup on the spectrum scope below...Solar Cycle 25 is officially underway. NASA and NOAA made the announcement during a media teleconference earlier today. According to an international panel of experts, sunspot counts hit rock bottom in Dec. 2019, and have been slowly increasing since.

The NanoVNA made network analyzers cheap enough for almost everyone. Now you can get a $49 spectrum analyzer to go with it. Is it worth it? Watch [IMSAI Guy]’s video after the break for his opinion. From the tinySA.org website:

  • Spectrum Analyzer with two inputs, high-quality MF/HF/VHF input for 0.1MHZ-350MHz, lesser quality UHF input for 240MHz-960MHz.
  • Switchable resolution bandpass filters for both ranges between 2.6kHz and 640kHz
  • Color display showing 290 scan points covering up to the full low or high-frequency range.
  • Input Step attenuator from 0dB to 31dB for the MF/HF/VHF input.
  • When not used as Spectrum Analyzer it can be used as Signal Generator, MF/HF/VHF sinus output between 0.1MHZ-350MHz, UHF square wave output between 240MHz-960MHz.
  • A built-in calibration signal generator that is used for automatic self-test and low input calibration.
  • Connected to a PC via USB it becomes a PC controlled Spectrum Analyzer
  • Rechargeable battery allowing a minimum of at least 2 hours portable use

A lot of cheap scopes and PC-based scopes can do spectrum analysis, too, ARTICLE

5-MHz Interoperability Channels Designated for Wildfires and Hurricane Sally Response

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that two 60-meter channels have been made available, as necessary, for interoperability between US Government stations and US amateur radio stations involved in emergency communications related to the wildland firefighting response in California, Oregon, and Washington, and to Hurricane Sally. These interoperability channels will remain active until the need for these channels no longer exists:

  • Channel 1- primary voice traffic 5332 kHz channel center, 5330.5 kHz USB voice

  • Channel 2- digital traffic 5348 kHz channel center, 5346.5 kHz USB with 1.5-kHz offset to center of digital waveform.

Frequencies may be modified or added to by FEMA Region 10 for their area or operations due to existing 5-MHz/60-meter interoperability plans for their region.

Amateur radio is secondary on the 5-MHz band and should yield to operational traffic related to wildland firefighting and hurricane response. Although the intended use for these channels is interoperability between federal government stations and licensed US amateur radio stations, federal government stations are primary users and amateurs are secondary users.

The Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) is following FEMA’s lead on the interoperability channel designations for the wildfire and hurricane response. Army MARS Program Manager Paul English, WD8DBY, says he has alerted all MARS members of the FEMA channel designations and MARS members are prepared to support response efforts as needed.    

A History of Ham Rig Visual Design

Ham Radio Perspectives' latest video looks at how HF radio designers have tried to modernize the look of equipment, from military rigs to the present.

See how how manufacturers such as Collins, Hallicrafters, National, Kenwood, and Icom developed their own "looks." Why do most modern HF rigs look essentially the same now? Plenty of rig images and insights.

Ten-year-old radio amateur on BBC radio and TV

On September 15, ten-year-old Caitlin Field M6XTT got some good publicity for amateur radio when she was interviewed on BBC Radio Somerset. She is expected to be on BBC TV on Wednesday, Sept 16

Caitlin is the granddaughter of Practical Wireless magazine editor Don Field G3XTT. She recently passed her Foundation exam and was able to get the former callsign of her dad M6XTT, he now has an Intermediate callsign.

On Tuesday, September 15, she was interviewed on BBC Radio Somerset along with Don G3XTT and RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas M1ACB. You can listen to a recording on the web, fast-forward to 0:03:32 for a trailer by Steve M1ACB, then skip to 2:55:38 for the full interview
https://bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08qdkx4

On Monday, September 14, Caitlin was interviewed for BBC TV. The item is expected to appear in the TV show BBC Points West on Wednesday evening, September 16. You should be available to watch it either on SKY channel 966 or Online at

https://bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006pft9

TUESDAY EDITION: Did I see some leaves turning?....The article below is interesting form me seeing that the Rockport office is just a few blocks away from my propery. I have a foot section of the underground cable, my lobsterman friend dragged up a section of the cable and cut off a hunk and gave pieces to friends he knew...

History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
from the first submarine cable of 1850 to the worldwide fiber optic network

The COMMERCIAL CABLE COMPANY

The New York Office of the Commmercial Cable Company, from which the Ocean Cable is operated.

Through the kindness of Mr. G. G. Ward, the general manager of the Commercial Cable Company, we shall be enabled in future numbers to give sketches of the stations belonging to that enterprising company, illustrated with well-executed drawings of the buildings and the repairing steamer Mackay Bennett. The Commercial Company work Sir William Thomson's siphon recorder between New York and Canso, a distance of some 900 miles. At this end the cable lands at Coney Island, whence it is brought underground through the streets of Brooklyn, over the famous East River Bridge, and finally up Wall­street to the principal office, a distance of twenty-one miles.

Our readers will not fail to realise the enormous advantages which this cable actually operated from the head office in the heart of the financial district of New York City over the other companies, who are compelled to transmit their traffic through long land lines before reaching the termini of the cables. Communication between Europe and this country would have been entirely interrupted for many hours on January 29th had it not been for the Mackay-Bennett direct New York cable via Coney Island. All the cables of the old lines were working slowly and unsatisfactorily. It would be impossible to estimate the extent of the inconvenience and loss which would have resulted to the financial and business world had communication been entirely closed during Stock Exchange and business hours. Mr. Ward informs us that Dr. Muirhead's system of duplexing is decidedly a genuine success.

THE COMMERCIAL CABLE COMPANY'S STATION, ROCKPORT.

THE Mackay-Bennett cable lands at Cape Ann, Mass., about two miles from the town of Rockport, and is carried underground to the Cable Station in the centre of the last-named place.

Rockport is situated some thirty miles by railway from Boston, and within four miles of Gloucester, a town of 30,000 inhabitants, and the principal shipping centre of New England. In Rockport are no less than seven churches. National and savings banks, a floe hotel, and other public buildings. By unanimous vote the town authorities have prohibited the sale of any kind of intoxicating liquor. The principal industries of the place are the quarrying of granite and the curing of fish. The population is about 5,000. A very pleasant summer resort adjoins, Pigeon Cove by name, where numerous elegant private residences have been erected, overlooking the ocean.

The Commercial Cable Company's Station
Norwood Avenue, Rockport, Mass.

The Rockport cable office in September 2013

The office of the Commercial Company is one of the most complete in existence. The operating-room is well lighted and pleasantly situated, and the Superintendent's office, testing-room, and workshop are all equally well arranged. The staff consists of a Superintendent, Mr. Robert Herne, late of the Direct Company at Rye Beach, and formerly in the Postal Telegraph staff in Ireland; an Assistant Superintendent; and six operators.

The Commercial Cable Company's Boston Office
(in direct communication with the Ocean Cables)

THE CABLE STEAMER 'MACKAY-BENNETT'

The Commercial Cable Company's repairing steamer, Mackay-Bennett, of which we present an illustration, was built by the well-known firm of John Elder & Co., of Glasgow, was launched from the Fairfield shipyard in September, 1884, and was christened by Mrs. Mackay, wife of the popular millionaire president of the company.

The Cable Steamer "Mackay-Bennett"

The steamer is constructed of mild steel, the scantlings being throughout in excess of Lloyd's requirements for the highest class of three-decked ships, and has from the commencement been subjected to special survey. Her dimensions are:- Length all over, 270 ft.; length between perpendiculars, 250 ft.; breadth (extreme), 40 ft.; depth, moulded, 24 ft. 6 in.; and the gross tonnage is about 2,000 tons. She is built with an elliptic stern, and the stem is curved forward in the form of a cutwater, so as to prevent the cable fouling the forefoot, and also a short poop aft, and a long bridge-house amidships, and a topgallant forecastle.

A double bottom, built in the cellular system, divided into four water­tight compartments for water ballast, is fitted right fore and aft, and in addition to this, water ballast can be carried in the cable tank cones. The number of water-tight bulkheads is five, four of which extend to the upper, and one to the main deck. Large bilge keels are fitted to reduce the rolling of the vessel when laying cables in heavy weather. A rudder is fitted at each end of the ship, with means of locking the same from the upper deck when not required for manoeuvering.

The tanks for stowing the telegraph cable are three in number, two of them placed forward of the engine and boiler space, and one aft, and their collective capacity is 27,200 cubic feet. Paying-out and picking-up machinery is carried on the upper deck, and the cable led over pulleys sup­ported by strong iron girders projecting over the bow and stern. The vessel is schooner rigged, having double topsails on the fore­mast.

Accommodation for the captain is provided in a deckhouse forward of the poop, which house also contains the saloon entrance. The saloon is on the main deck aft, with state rooms on each side for cable engineers, electricians, or passengers, one state room being very large and handsomely fitted up in hard wood for the use of the owner. The ship's officers and engineers are berthed in side-houses under the bridge deck, and a continuation of the engine and boiler casing contains the galley and a large testing-room, fitted with batteries and appliances for testing cables. The crew's quarters are in the topgallant fore­castle, and the firemen's on the main deck forward. Twelve special hands for working the cable are berthed in two rooms on the main deck, one on each side of the main cable tank, and the remainder of this deck is used for workshops and cable store-rooms.

Small cones for the stowing of light cables, grapnels, and picking-up gear are placed in the lower deck and in the hold. On the forward and aft bridge deck is placed a house containing two chart rooms for the use of captain and officers, and on the flying bridge there is a small steering-house. The steamer is fitted with a powerful capstan, windlass, and two horizontal steam-winches. The steering gear for the forward rudder is a hand-screw gear, and the aft one a combined hand and steam or steam gear. An efficient system of telegraphs is provided for manoeuvering the ship as well as for the working of cable machinery.

The vessel is fitted with two sets of compound inverted cylinder engines, each with two cylinders, one high-pressure cylinder 25 in. in diameter, and one low-pressure cylinder 50 in. in diameter, with a stroke of 3 ft. The high-pressure cylinder has a valve of the equilibrium-piston type, and the low­pressure cylinder has an ordinary double-ported slide valve. These valves are worked by the usual double eccentric and link motion. The reversing of each set is effected by one of Messrs. Brown Bros.' steam and hydraulic reversing engines. The surface condensers are placed at the back of each engine, the water being supplied by one of Messrs. W.H. Allen & Co.'s centrifugal pumps. The air, feed and bilge pumps are worked by levers connected with the piston-rod cross-heads of the low-pressure engine. The steam is supplied to the engines by two cylindrical single-ended multitubular boilers. Each boiler is fitted with four of Fox's patent corrugated furnaces. They are made entirely of steel, and constructed for a working pressure of 100 lb. per square inch.

The ship is fitted up entirely with electric light, and powerful lamps for night work. She is commanded by Captain Lugar, late chief officer of the Faraday, and of the Anglo-American Cable Steamer Minia, with Mr. H. Kingsford as the electrician.

New England Hams you might run across 75 meters.........

K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The World Turns....
WB1ABC- Ari..Bought an amp and now we can here him on 75 meters, worships his wife, obsessed with Id'ing
N1BOW-Phil...Retired broadcast engineer, confused and gullible, cheap, only uses single ply toilet paper
KB1OWO- Larry...
Handsome Fellow ,only cuts lawn in August, plows snow the rest in Jackman, Maine
W1GEK- Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big motor home, electronics software engineer ...
AA1SB- Neil...Living large traveling the country with his girlfriend...loves CW
N1YX- Igor....peddles quality Russian keys, software engineer
K1BGH...Art.....Restores cars and radio gear, nice fella...
N1XW.....Mike-easy going, Harley riding kind of guy!
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can be found at most ham flea market ...Cobra Antenna builder..
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on the side at Hosstrader's...
W1GWU-Bob....one of the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter regular, Tech Wizard!!!
K1PV- Roger....75 meter regular, easy going guy...
W1XER...Scott....easy going guy, loves to split cordwood and hunt...
WS1D- Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
KB1VX- Barry- the picture says it all, he loves food!
KC1BBU- Bob....the Mud Duck from the Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of noise.
W1STS- Scott...philosopher, hat connoisseur,
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter regular...our token liberal Democrat out of VT

KA1BXB-Don....75 meter Regular......residing on the Cape of Cod, flying planes and playing radio
KMIG-Rick....75 Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's scary!
K1PEK-Steve..Founder of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school 

K9AEN-John...Easy going ham found at all the ham fests
K1BQT.....Rick....very talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear for MFJ...
W1KQ- Jim-  Retired
Air Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to go!
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi talented kidney stone passing ham...
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod, construction company/ice cream shop, hard working man....
W1VAK- Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a Jacques Cousteus body guard....
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for a bottled gas company-we think he has been around nitrous oxide to long .

Silent Key K1BXI- John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op ....wealth of experience...
Silent Key
VA2GJB- Graham...one of the good 14313 guys back in the day.
Silent Key K1BHV- David...PITA
Silent Key W1JSH- Mort...Air Force man
Silent Key K1MAN--Glen....PITA
Silent KeyKB1CJG-"Cobby"- Low key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter nets.........
Silent KeyWB1AAZ- Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired

Silent KeyWB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going, computer parts selling, New England Ham..
Silent Key W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
Silent Key W1TCS- Terry....75 meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Silent Key WIPNR- Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key
WILIM- Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE- Dave....Loves to fly
Silent Key:
N1WBD- Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group
Silent Key: W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
Silent Key: W4NTI-Vietnam Dan....far from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Silent Key:K1FUB-Bill- Loved ham radio....